How to Plan an All-Inclusive Business Trip
Here are some tips to ensure no one is left out on your next company outing or business trip.
1.3 million business trips are taken in the U.S. every single day. With all of these company trips, there are a wide variety of people that are traveling for work.
Unfortunately, not every employee gets the business-travel experience they deserve, primarily because their employers don’t account for their unique needs when planning company trips. To ensure none of your employees are left feeling neglected, frustrated, or unsafe during a business trip, plan it with everyone in mind.
Understand the Diverse Needs of Your Staff
To accommodate the diverse needs of your staff for a business trip, you first need to know what those needs are. Sit down with each employee and discuss what they will need to have an enjoyable, productive business trip.
For example, a working parent may need flexibility to comfortably go on a business trip. Consider providing childcare or the option to bring the child with them on the trip. If you have someone with dietary restrictions, you’ll need to account for those. If you have a religious employee, they may need a hotel with room to perform their spiritual practices.
Further, some employees may have age-related work needs. Or, some may be living with cognitive, mobile, or behavioral disabilities that require accessibility accommodations. Whatever your employees’ needs are, ensure they’re documented so you can reference them when choosing a destination, lodging, and transportation.
Choose a Destination Suitable for Everyone
Choosing a destination might be the most challenging part of planning a business trip. Of course, you want to choose a location that accommodates everyone’s needs. However, that just isn’t realistic when you are traveling for certain meetings, conventions, or training with predetermined locations.
Your best bet is to choose an accessible business trip destination that considers most of your employees’ unique needs. Where they will sleep, transportation, food, professional activities, and accessibility essentials should meet your employees’ expectations, at the very least. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Level of crime.
- Wheelchair-accessible business offices, lodging, and restrooms.
- Availability of food options.
Also, do your best to pick a destination that has leisure activities accessible to everyone.
Be Mindful of Recreational Activities
The majority of your business trip will be focused on a professional agenda. However, there will still be time for recreational and team-building activities, even if it’s just one day out of a week-long business trip. Alternatively, your business trip could be centered around leisure activities for company morale.
In any case, do your best to ensure there are various leisure activities accessible to everyone. For example, let’s say you have an employee that uses a wheelchair. In that case, you’ll want to research wheelchair-friendly spots for recreation, like Disneyland if you’re going to California or Rocky Mountain National Park if you’re staying here in Colorado.
Create an Itinerary
Create an itinerary to help you organize your trip and ensure it’s mindful of your employees’ unique needs. When your employees know what they’ll be doing, it’ll be easier for them to let you know what they’ll need in order to participate fully. You can use an itinerary template or create one from scratch. Then, list out the activities for each day of your business trip. Also include details like:
- Equipment needed.
- Important contact information.
- Types of transportation you’ll use.
- Accessibility details for places you’re visiting.
- When an activity will start and the duration of it.
Once you create your itinerary, distribute it to your team and encourage them to bring what they need to experience everything on it fully.
Encourage Your Team To Bring What They Need
As much as you want to, you won’t be able to provide everything for your employees. Even if you could, the places you’re traveling to may not hold up their end — even if you’ve discussed accessibility needs and special accommodations beforehand.
Thus, you must encourage your team to bring what they need to enjoy all of what the business trip has to offer. For instance, if an employee takes medication, they should bring extra in case of emergency. If a team member has mobility or cognitive challenges, ask that they bring their assistive devices. Or, if someone experiences high levels of stress or anxiety when traveling, allow them to bring their support animal.
Be as dependable as possible, but always encourage your employees to be proactive about their needs.
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.